Herong's Notes on Astrology and Horoscope - Version 2.10, by Dr. Herong Yang
This section describes what is Chinese astrology.
Chinese astrology is very closely linked to the Chinese calendar, which is a lunisolar calendar based on both the Sun's movement and the Moon's movement.
In Chinese astrology each individual personality is determined by his or her birth year, month, day, and hour in Chinese calendar. In this calendar, year, month, day and hour are counted with cycles of ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches. This gives each person eight words, called Ba Zi (八字) in Chinese. For example, if someone was born at 23:30 on February 1, 2000, his or her eight words are: 庚辰, 戊寅, 己丑, 甲寅.
In Chinese astrology, 12 earthly branches are also mapped to 12 zodiac animals:
A much simplified version is using just the zodiac animal corresponding to the earthly branch of a person's birth year to determine his or her personality and future. This is called a person's animal sign, 生肖 shengxiao. For example, if you were born in 1983, your animal sign is Pig.
The picture below shows a circle of Chinese Zodiac animals: http://www.seasonsindia.com
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